Apple has never admitted that it has negotiated with Hyundai Motors to produce cars, nor has it disclosed the stage of the negotiations between the two companies. According to Apple's style, they usually require potential partners and suppliers to keep strict confidentiality about future plans or unreleased products.
Based on external news, Hyundai Motor's internal opinions are not unified around the alliance with Apple to build cars. Some executives expressed concern about becoming Apple's foundry manufacturer, and even believed that the prospects for cooperation between the two parties were bleak.
Hyundai Motor said earlier that the group is in preliminary negotiations with Apple, but did not disclose more details of the cooperation. Local Korean media also reported that the two companies are discussing cooperation related to electric vehicles and batteries.
However, it is worth mentioning that Apple has never admitted that it has negotiated with Hyundai Motors on the production of cars, nor has it disclosed the stage of the negotiations between the two companies. According to Apple's style, they usually require potential partners and suppliers to keep strict confidentiality about future plans or unreleased products.
On Tuesday’s earnings conference call, Hyundai Motor announced its best quarterly profit in three years, but during the entire press conference, the company did not disclose any updates on the negotiations with Apple, nor did it imply whether they still Actively promote the specific details of this cooperation.
A Hyundai executive who understands the alliance with Apple revealed to the media that there are also big differences within Hyundai Motor. How to cooperate with Apple and how to evaluate the pros and cons of the two companies' cooperation has become a distress for executives. The person familiar with the matter said that from the perspective of the company's genes, Hyundai has no history of making cars for other companies, and cooperation with Apple does not mean that it can produce the expected good results.
As of now, little is known about the negotiations between the two companies. However, people familiar with the matter told Reuters that the two companies are considering cooperation methods including: new cars designed by Apple, produced by Hyundai or Kia, and then relying on Apple's strong brand and sales channels for market expansion.
As South Korea’s second largest group, Hyundai Motor is known for its reluctance to cooperate with external companies. It has always produced engines, gearboxes and even steel itself under a vertically integrated supply chain.
An insider revealed to the South Korean media that although the share prices of Kia and Hyundai have soared due to negotiations with Apple, they have encountered great internal opposition to becoming Apple's foundry manufacturers. These resistances may affect the follow-up cooperation with Apple.
People familiar with the matter said that Apple and Hyundai negotiated for the first time on auto business cooperation, dating back to 2018, when Apple internally launched a new car-related "Project Titan" (Project Titan), but because Hyundai Motor is unwilling to cooperate with the outside world. The negotiations have been hindered by multiple obstacles.
However, the content of these internal meetings in the past has never been reported, and the outside world is also poorly understood. "It's really difficult for Hyundai to open to the outside world," a person close to Hyundai added that if it cooperates with Apple, the South Korean company may have to replace some of its executives to avoid cultural conflict.
Based on the news from all parties, the entire car-making cooperation is likely to be led by Apple, including marketing, products, and brands. As the other side of the cooperation, Hyundai Motors is difficult to play a real leading role in the cooperation.
"Hyundai is not Foxconn."
A person familiar with the matter said that Apple is more willing to purchase main components from different places, including frame, body, transmission system and other parts, and rely on Hyundai or Kia as the final assembly base.
Of course, this South Korean automaker currently has problems such as overcapacity. Co-produce cars with companies like Apple. The production side is a favorable guarantee, and it will greatly help Hyundai to release more capacity.
A number of relevant persons revealed to the South Korean media that although the negotiations are still at an early stage, Hyundai Motor Group has "preliminarily decided" to use its Kia brand to cooperate with Apple instead of the Hyundai brand.
"The Group is worried that if Hyundai brand becomes Apple's OEM, it will not be conducive to Hyundai's efforts to use Genesis brand to build a higher-end image." It is reported that Kia has a good reserve of technology and production capacity in electric vehicles. Its plant in Georgia, the United States has available production capacity, or will have a manufacturing-side boost to OEM Apple production.
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